On the surface, a Chef knife and Santoku knife may appear quite similar. However, dig a little deeper and they are vastly different. Whether you are on your way to becoming a professional chef or just cook at home, it is important to learn the differences between these two knives so that you can choose the right knife for the job.
Santoku vs. Chef knife - main differences:
Before we go through the major differences in both these knives, let us first discuss the similarities between them. Both of them are general-purpose knives that can be used for a variety of tasks in the kitchen, including mincing, dicing, slicing, as well as chopping. As such, you will usually find one or both these knives in every kitchen.
Compared to chef knives, santoku Japanese knives are made up of harder yet thinner steel material that makes them suitable for precision tasks.
The santoku and chef’s knives can be mainly differentiated in terms of their origin and shape of the blade. And according to the blade shape, they suit different types of tasks when it comes to cutting and slicing.
Features of Santoku knives:
- These knives originated from Japan and the name Santoku is translated to ‘three virtues’ symbolizes the characteristics of this knife – chopping, dicing, and mincing.
- They are typically smaller, lighter and thinner compared to their chef knife counterparts and may be more comfortable for people with smaller hands.
- The thinner blade allows for thinner and more refined cuts.
- They do not have bolsters, giving it a lighter frame which makes it easier to maneuver and chop food with ease.
- Some of these knives also come with Granton (or scalloped) edges, which create air pockets between the knife and the food being cut so that it doesn’t stick to the knife.
- They generally vary between the size ranges of 5 inches to 7.9 inches.
- Cutting meat.
- Slicing, dicing or chopping vegetables and fruits.
- Slicing cheese.
- Mincing herbs or meat.
- Their wide blades can help in scooping food from a cutting board.
- Preferred for seafood due to their ability to cut with fine shapes.
Features of Chef’s knives:
- These knives are originated from France and Germany.
- Designed with a broad blade that generally curves in an upward direction to create a sharp tip.
- You can find these knives with double bevel design only.
- They are designed with a bolster and are generally heavier to hold giving you more weight and power in each cut.
- Some of these knives may come with a Granton edge.
- Chef’s knives generally vary from the size range of 6 inches to 12 inches. The 8-inch versions are more widely used by chefs.
- Versatile cutting needs.
- Slicing, cutting, and disjoining meat.
- Slicing cheese.
- Dicing, chopping and slicing vegetables and fruits.
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